Reading Texts in Social Theory

Subject 136-532 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to 4th year honours or postgraduate diploma in Anthropology and Social Theory, the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year combined honours in Social Theory, or a masters program and permission of the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr John Rundell

Subject Overview: This subject is designed to provide students with a detailed familiarity with the works of at least one of the major classical social theorists. Students who complete this subject should be able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of at least one significant social theorist or theoretical tradition; have developed the READING and analytical skills for such comprehension and understanding which can be readily used for other texts and subject matter; and have established a basis for postgraduate research if desired.
Objectives: Students who have completed this subject will
  • have knowledge of the major ideas and theories of one major tradition of social theory;
  • have background in one major tradition of social theory on which to base further research and study in the area;
  • have experience of thinking systematically about difficult intellectual problems of an abstract nature;
  • have practice conducting research, speaking articulately, writing clearly and reading with attention to detail;
  • have experience with methods of critical analysis and argument employed in one major tradition of social theory, leading to improved general reasoning and analytical skills;
  • be able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of at least one significant social theorist or theoretical tradition;
  • gain an awareness of the selected philosophical and theoretical tradition, through which this debate has been generated;
  • establish a basis for postgraduate research if desired.
Assessment: A class paper of 1000 words 45% (due a fortnight after the class paper is presented in the seminar) and an essay of 4000 words 55% (due on the final day of semester).
Prescribed Texts:
  • The Grundrisse. (K. Marx)
  • The Philosophy of Money. (G. Simmel)
  • The Gift. (M. Mauss)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop skills in written and oral communication;
  • conduct independent research;
  • make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources in mounting an argument;
  • form defensible judgements based on a critical evaluation of conflicting arguments.
Notes: Formerly available as 136-079. Students who have completed 136-079 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts in Social Theory (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology and Social Theory
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory

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